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The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

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Graduate Programs

Comparative & Experimental Medicine (CEM) Graduate Program

Degrees offered: MS and PhD

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The Comparative and Experimental Medicine (CEM) degree program (MS and PhD) is a jointly administered graduate program intended to prepare students for teaching and/or research careers in the health sciences. This program emphasizes the comparative approach to the study of biomedical science.The program is open to approved graduate students seeking training in this area and is especially useful for individuals with professional degrees.

For the student with an undergraduate biological science background, the CEM Program provides an unusual opportunity to study disease processes common in animals and humans from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The scope of this intercollegiate program, which pools faculty resources from both veterinary and human medicine, is broadened by faculty members representing wide-ranging interests in biomedical disciplines and areas of the life sciences. The interdisciplinary training environment includes such diverse support as facilities and personnel at the Veterinary Medical Center, University of Tennessee (UT) Graduate School of Medicine, life sciences departments, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, College of Engineering, and the Department of Nutrition.

Director of Graduate Studies: Dr. Stephen Kania



CEM Graduate Amanda Peretich Featured in Local Newspaper for Unique Course Offering

Feather in Cap for CEM Grad

Kendra (Manning) Waldbusser, a 1996 graduate of the University of Tennessee Comparative and Experimental Medicine (CEM) Graduate Program, was named Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance at Pilgrim’s Pride. Waldbusser received her B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Tennessee in 1994 before earning her M.S. in the UT College of Veterinary Medicine-based, interdisciplinary CEM Program.

In Waldbusser’s new role, she is responsible for all quality assurance and food safety programs throughout the organization. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation is one of the largest chicken companies in the United States and Mexico and employs approximately 41,000 people. Waldbusser worked previously as director of quality assurance for renewable products at Tyson Foods. During her 13 years with Tyson, she also held a variety of other positions, including product manager for Pet Products Marketing – Renewable Products Division; divisional quality assurance manager – foodservice poultry and regional quality assurance manager – foodservice poultry.

While in the CEM Program, Waldbusser worked with Dr. Ted McDonald investigating the effects of megakaryocyte ploidy and spleen size on platelet counts and platelet lifespans for studying hypersplenism. Waldbusser said, “My CEM experience was life changing, and I hope the very same for all of the students in the program.” McDonald was an NIH-funded researcher who is now retired from the university. Waldbusser and her husband Joe have relocated to Greeley, Colorado.

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